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  1. In Defense of Unrealistic Assumptions.Satoshi Kanazawa - 1998 - Sociological Theory 16 (2):193-204.
    I argue that a theory's assumptions always are and ought to be unrealistic. Further, we should attempt to make them more unrealistic in order to increase a theory's fruitfulness. Many sociologists believe that a theory's assumptions ought to be empirically realistic. I contend that this criticism probably stems from the confusion of a theory's assumptions with its scope conditions. While Friedman's (1953) similar prescription is associated with the instrumentalist philosophy of science, I maintain that it is also consistent with the (...)
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  • Formalism , Behavioral Realism and the Interdisciplinary Challenge in Sociological Theory.Omar Lizardo - 2009 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 39 (1):39-80.
    In this paper, I argue that recent sociological theory has become increasingly bifurcated into two mutually incompatible styles of theorizing that I label formalist and behavioral-realist. Formalism favors mathematization and proposes an instrumentalist ontology of abstract processes while behavioral-realist theory takes at its basis the "real" physical individual endowed with concrete biological, cognitive and neurophysiological capacities and constraints and attempts to derive the proper conceptualization of social behavior from that basis. Formalism tends to lead toward a conceptually independent sociology that (...)
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  • Past and Future Applications of Jasso's Justice Theory.Joseph M. Whitmeyer - 2004 - Sociological Theory 22 (3):432-444.
    Past applications of Jasso's theory of justice evaluation, including several applied tests, generally support the theory but raise questions future applications should address. These include whether the theory might predict as well or better if the good in question is something other than income and if it would predict third-party evaluations as well or better than first-party evaluations. Moreover, the theory could be used for more demanding applications: interventions, which would involve changing the situation in order to affect justice evaluations. (...)
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  • Dreams of Pure Sociology.Donald Black - 2000 - Sociological Theory 18 (3):343-367.
    Unlike older sciences such as physics and biology, sociology has never had a revolution. Modern sociology is still classical-largely psychological, teleological, and individualistic-and even less scientific than classical sociology. But pure sociology is different: It predicts and explains the behavior of social life with its location and direction in social space-its geometry. Here I Illustrate pure sociology with formulations about the behavior of ideas, including a theory of scienticity that predicts and explains the degree to which an idea is likely (...)
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  • Hyperstructures and the Biology of Interpersonal Dependence: Rethinking Reciprocity and Altruism.Thomas S. Smith & Gregory T. Stevens - 2002 - Sociological Theory 20 (1):106-130.
    Fluctuations in endogenous opioid activity in the brain, controlled under ordinary conditions by attachment, are capable of producing patterns of dependence in social behavior resembling those appearing in substance abusers. Withdrawal symptoms arising in relation to these fluctuations, short of producing dependence, ordinarily fuel everyday social interaction, and interaction then serves to modulate opioid activity within a range associated with comfort. Comfort-constraints in this sense operate in all settings of social interaction, part of an innate caregiving mechanism conserved by evolution (...)
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  • The Tripartite Structure of Social Science Analysis.Guillermina Jasso - 2004 - Sociological Theory 22 (3):401-431.
    The goal of sociology, and all social science, is to produce reliable knowledge about human behavioral and social phenomena. To reach that goal, we undertake three kinds of activities: theoretical work, empirical work, and, even more basic, we develop frameworks that assemble the fundamental questions together with the fundamental tools that will be used to address them. This article examines the three sets of activities and their interrelations. Both deductive and nondeductive theory are highlighted, as are three kinds of empirical (...)
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